Friday, January 24, 2014

Home Remedies (Call Me Crazy)

Sorry it's been a little while, but in a minute you will understand why...

I might call this "Part 2" of my post about how to avoid getting sick (Eschew The Flu).  This one's about what to do if you do end up getting some sort of nasty-yuckiness (or if you are just not feeling your best).  I will share some of the home remedies I have been using lately, but this is only the tip of the do-it-yourself-wellness iceberg!

There has been some weirdness going on at our house lately.  Stomach cramping/off digestion for me, and a little bit of a cold (also in one eye) for the little mister.  When things like this surface I am reminded of my transformation from helpless victim to a super problem solver.  I have gone from jumping on WebMD to find out the many things I could be dying from to searching for natural ways to aid the body in healing itself.  The fact of the matter is that we have become a society that heavily relies on doctors to diagnose and prescribe for every little symptom that pops-up.  I am here to tell you that you have the power to help yourself and your loved ones through many health-related situations.  **(Obviously I am not a doctor, and you should always use common sense, proceed with caution, and keep your child's age and condition in mind when assessing the use of home remedies!  Seek medical attention if needed!)**

When my son starts showing signs of coming down with something the first thing we do is start sipping herbal tea.  Sometimes I give him a blend specific for his symptoms, but generally he loves peppermint and licorice teas, and both are good for tummy and upper-respiratory issues.  I also immediately reduce (or cut out) dairy intake.  Sugar must go completely, except for maybe a little fruit.  Eating less meat also gives the digestive tract a break so all of the body's energy can go to healing.  Keeping all fluids and food WARM keeps the chill away and the body in fighting mode (unless there is a high fever that you are trying to relieve).  I also add some of my Vitamin C powder to his drinks.  I absolutely love "Nature's Way Alive! Vitamin C," because it is organic, 100% whole-food based, very gentle on the stomach, and it is a powder so you can adjust the dose very easily.  I also make extra sure that my son gets his usual daily probiotic dose, because I know it is even more important during illness.

Another favorite thing we do at our house is detox/essential oil baths.  For my son I keep it simple…about 4-5 drops each of Eucalyptus and Lavender oil in an ounce or so of almond milk…shake it up and throw it in a very warm bath.  Sometimes I use other oils, depending on symptoms, but be sure to always read to learn about safe oils for children and certain conditions (and only use 100% pure essential oils).  To read about the detox cocktail I whip-up for myself, check out this old post, "Soak It Up…Or Out!"  The bath routine is usually followed-up by some chest rub (I LOVE these 3 brands: House Blend OrganicsLuSa Organics, & Erbaviva) on the neck, chest, outside of ears, under nose, and bottoms of the feet (covered up by socks to keep the feet nice and warm).

The latest cold my son had went into one of his eyes, too.  Ever since he was a baby he has had one eye that is his "weak spot."  This same eye had a clogged tear duct off and on during infancy, and then later he ended up with Orbital Cellulitis as a toddler (not something to mess with).  It is the eye most irritated by allergies, too.  It seems like many times when he gets a cold that one eye gets yucky.  This time it was worse than usual, and I started to worry about conjunctivitis.  I did lots of reading, used my own noggin,' and busted out my best Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.  I read that tea bags are good for swelling/redness, so I thought I would give that a try.  Then I remembered using the gel from Vitamin E caps on my own eyes for dryness and irritation, and I had been told that castor oil is also healing for eyes, so I started thinking about what might be good (and safe) to try for my son.  I decided that coconut oil is very safe, and it has amazing antibacterial and antiviral properties.  Just what the "doctor" ordered!  Twice a day (morning and night) we did tea-bag-compress-sessions, followed by a little coconut oil all around the upper and lower lids and corner of the eye.  Within days it was healed!

As for my digestive flare-ups...when I need quick relief two things are my best friends - 1. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) and 2. Activated Charcoal.  You can learn more about DGL here, but basically it is good for indigestion/stomach upset and is like popping Tums (only better for you).  I use "Enzymatic Therapy DGL (Fructose Free)."  Activated Charcoal is good for gastroenteritis, stomach viruses & bacteria, poisoning (food poisoning…and some use it for hangovers, etc.), gas/bloating.  To read more about Activated Charcoal check out these sources: Wellness Mama & The Nourishing Gourmet.  I would most closely compare its uses to that of Pepto Bismol (only without the dyes and other additives).  The cool thing about Activated Charcoal (and Pepto Bismol, for that matter) is that it can also be used as a preventative (like for stomach viruses and "travelers issues").  Right after Christmas my son had the "throw-ups," so I started taking Activated Charcoal, and thankfully I didn't catch it.  If you do end up with a stomach virus, food poisoning, or stomach upset, Activated Charcoal speeds up recovery, which is always appreciated!  The brand I use is "Nature's Way Activated Charcoal."  It really grabs on to toxins/irritants and flushes them out of your system!

I know that these are a random array of home remedies, but they are very relevant in my life right now, so I thought I would share while they are top of mind.  I hope they will bring healing and relief to you and yours…and cut down on calls and visits to the doctor!  "You are capable of more than you know" (E. O. Wilson).  Please share your home remedy successes in the comments section!

Now sing it with me…(sung to the tune of "Call Me Maybe"):
I just read this,
From a home remedy lady.
Now I'm gonna try it,
So call me crazy!

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